Study Details

Study Title: Are Roundabouts Safe and Economically Viable Replacing Conventional Diamond Interchange Ramp Terminals?

Authors: Boris Claros, Beau Burdett, Madhav Chitturi, Andrea Bill, and David A. Noyce

Publication Date: 2021

Abstract: Roundabout implementations at traditional intersections have been shown to be effective at reducing severe crashes. Roundabouts have also been implemented at interchange ramp terminals; however, limited research is available. In this study, 25 roundabout ramp terminal implementations were evaluated. The methodological approach consisted of Empirical Bayes for safety effectiveness and crash cost changes, crash type weighted distribution, crash rate analysis of bypass configuration, and cost of implementation. Roundabouts were effective at reducing fatal and injury crashes when replacing existing interchange diamond ramp terminals: 65% reduction for roundabouts replacing stop-controlled ramp terminals and 41% reduction for roundabouts replacing signal-controlled ramp terminals. Observed crash type weighted distributions are provided to visualize the frequency and location of crashes within roundabout ramp terminals for design considerations. Exit ramp and outside crossroad approaches with right-turn bypass showed significantly lower crash rates than designs without bypass. The crash cost analysis showed that roundabouts replacing diamond ramp terminals yielded crash cost savings of between $95,000 and $253,000 per site per year (69% to 54% decrease in crash costs). Considering crash costs savings only, the cost of implementation should be less than $1.9 million for a roundabout replacing a stop-controlled ramp terminal and less than $5.1 million for a roundabout replacing a signal-controlled ramp terminal to accomplish benefit-cost ratios greater than one for a service life cycle of 20 years. Costs are in 2019 dollars.

Study Citation: Claros, B., B. Burdett, M. Chitturi, A. Bill, and D.A. Noyce. "Are Roundabouts Safe and Economically Viable Replacing Conventional Diamond Interchange Ramp Terminals?". Transportation Research Record No. 2675, Transportation Research Board of the National Academies of Science, Washington, D.C., (2021).


CMFs Associated With This Study

Category: Interchange design

Countermeasure: Convert to roundabout interchanges

CMF CRF(%) Quality Crash Type Crash Severity Roadway Type Area Type
0.351 64.9 3 Stars All K,A,B,C Principal Arterial Other Freeways and Expressways
0.671 32.9 3 Stars All O Principal Arterial Other Freeways and Expressways
0.604 39.6 3 Stars All All Principal Arterial Other Freeways and Expressways
0.594 40.6 3 Stars All K,A,B,C Principal Arterial Other Freeways and Expressways
0.528 47.2 3 Stars All K,A,B,C Principal Arterial Other Freeways and Expressways
0.822 17.8 3 Stars All All Principal Arterial Other Freeways and Expressways
1.137 -13.7 3 Stars All O Principal Arterial Other Freeways and Expressways
0.954 4.6 3 Stars All All Principal Arterial Other Freeways and Expressways
0.942 5.8 3 Stars All O Principal Arterial Other Freeways and Expressways